DHEA and donor eggs

So Monday was a really bad day. I had to wait 3 hours to see the nurse after the doctor told me he was canceling our cycle, during which time I popped to the bathroom several times to have a cry. My husband and I assumed it would be a routine appointment and so it was the first appointment he did not come to and it was really awful being there on my own. He was wonderful though and told his work that there was a crisis at home and he needed to work from home for the day, so by the time I got home he was already there. He is a full blown workaholic, so this was an awesome gesture from him and I really felt like a priority. Our families were wonderful too and we both felt very loved and cared for. We spent the day talking and sleeping and eventually took our dog for a nice walk… Our puppy thought Christmas had come early to have both of us home all day and on top of that to have both of us take him for a walk on a school day… At least someone in our household had a good day!

Anyway, by yesterday morning it was time to pick ourselves up and start moving forward again. I have decided to start taking DHEA. I have read a lot about it but there is some controversy regarding it’s efficacy, and in South Africa there is a problem with it’s registration and so it is hard to source. However, I am fortunate to live in Johannesburg where you can get almost anything and so I now have two months worth of DHEA in my bedside table. I figure we have nothing to lose by trying.

I have also thought more about donor eggs. Although my husband doesn’t like me talking about it too much as he feels I should focus on being optimistic about our next cycle, it helps me to know that there are options after our next, ‘end of the road’ cycle. The truth is, we have not received good news in two years, and so my optimism around falling pregnant myself is starting to wane.

So my thoughts are as follows….I said in a previous post that I know we will be ok, whatever happens, and I still know this to be true. The big picture is all good. The problem is in the detail. Whilst I can project to the bigger picture of my husband and I with our donor egg babies, and know we will be 100% happy, it is the journey to getting there that troubles me. I guess I am inpatient now. If we have to use donor eggs, great, let’s do it. Let’s do it tomorrow and then in nine months time I’ll have a beautiful baby. Right? Wrong. It’s not that simple dammit. There’s so much waiting to be done before we can get there and even then, there is a 50% success rate per cycle and so there are no guarantees. Our doctor fully believes we should try the estrogen priming cycle at least once to see if we get a good response and to ensure that we have no regrets before moving on to donor eggs. And I agree with him intellectually. But emotionally, I am so tired of disappointment and I just want something, anything, to work.

Also, the one thing that makes me feel funny about donor eggs is the thought of the donor egg and my husbands sperm coming together in the lab to create an embryo. It’s odd, cause I have no problem with the embryo being implanted and growing inside of me (in fact I am so enormously grateful that we have this option and that there are wonderful, generous, beautiful women who are willing to donate their eggs), but the image of that moment when they meet in the lab and fuse…. It feels so intimate and, well, it makes me feel left out, and a bit sorry for myself… Strange hey?!

15 thoughts on “DHEA and donor eggs

  1. First of all, I am so, so very sorry that your cycle was canceled. Hugs!!! I am glad that your husband and family were able to be there to support you. I truly hope the DHEA helps. The thought of using donor eggs (or sperm) is both amazing and scary, isn’t it? We’ve also considered it for various reasons. I don’t think it’s strange at all what you’re thinking. I think it’s kind of natural, actually. I hope, whatever you decide, you can feel good about the decision. Be kind to yourself and know you are note alone!


  2. My doc put me on DHEA 3 times a day. They said it helps with the lining, but I’ve heard other people mention it helping with other stuff. Regardless, I did have a great lining so I’d definitely take it again.


  3. Has your doctor suggested taking CoQ10? I was put on that to give ny eggs a boost along with some other vitamins (E?). That was our cycle that worked twice for us (fresh and FET) so I’d do it again in a heartbeat!

    I’m really sorry your cycle got cancelled. I know you just want to move forward.


  4. You put it so well- that the hard part is in the details- in the waiting. I wanted to go to donor eggs (have severe DOR) right after my first failed IVF cycle. I was sick of waiting and just wanted to move forward in life. My husband convinced me to try four (!!) cycles before we would switch. I tried different protocols and the one that finally worked I was on DHEA and CoQ10 as well as some kind of growth hormone. My feeling on donor eggs was I just wanted a family and a baby- I don’t have this strong need to see my genetics carry on. That was just my personal opinion. You sound like you have just about the best husband possible and an amazing attitude. I know this will all work out for you-sending you good thoughts the time in between passes quickly!!


      • Medically I would have been more diligent about my diet and supplements during cycles ( I would get depressed and eat junk food) and personally I would have drank wine and lived my life the few weeks after a BFN ( I was in a horrible hole of seclusion and wish I would have had a little bit more perspective but that is easier said than done). As far as own eggs vs donor- it was important to my husband that we try four times with our own and since it worked of course I am glad we did. I still think that at a certain point if donor eggs can up the odds significantly of ending this hell I was all about it- I felt like I could always go back and do more of my own egg cycles for another baby ( I am 33 so have some time even if my eggs are old :)). I wanted a family and to be a Mom more than I needed to see my own genes in a child. Hope that helps in anyway. I wished I would have believed that the journey will end one day when I was in the middle of it. I hope you have better perspective than I did and you know that this will be over and you will be on the other side. Xoxo


      • Thanks so much for sharing that with me. I feel at the moment the way you felt when you were in the midst of infertility hell, but it is really good to be reminded to have perspective… My grandpa always used to say… Everything passes, good and bad. So this too shall pass and you have reminded me of that. I have been drinking wine after bfn’s as I love my wine and can’t go years without it but I have been feeling guilty about it… So I’m pleased to hear your thoughts on that too!


  5. Everything to do with fertility and infertility is extremely intimate, so I think your feelings are perfectly natural and should be acknowledged and explored. Thinking about things now helps you to make those decisions later without being shocked or rushed. There are a lot of minimized time frames of opportunity in the treatment of infertility. I believe in going in with eyes wide open! There are lot of mixed feelings with DHEA, but there are also many physicians that recommend it for all women above age 37. At this point, it can’t hurt, so why not try it. Omega 3 has also been shown in bring higher number of follicles, Vitamin E has been known to help the endometrium, and L-arginine encourages your body to make more human growth hormone (which also increases the quality & quantity of eggs). You’ve probably heard all of this before, but it can’t hurt to share in case you haven’t been given the plethora of supplements that help fertility and how. Each person’s supplements should be catered to their own needs.

    It sounds like you have lovely support in your spouse. I’m so glad he has able to come home and be there with you. I’ll be keeping you in my thoughts and wish you only the best!


    • Thank you so much for validating my ‘strange’ feelings. You’re right… So much better to process them in advance and I will talk with my husband when the right time presents itself this weekend. I have actually been on a supplement for two years now (!!!) that has l-arginine and vitamin e and am on daily omegas. Thank you for the advice and supportxxx


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